Hidden in the dense forest of painting is a bright-colored bird. There’s also a finished painting in there, too, but I have to fight my way through a thicket of confused ideas before I find it. I start paintings and sometimes bring them quite a ways along before setting them aside. The reasons for quitting work are subtle, but necessary — when I find that I simply cannot seem to go forward. From long habit, I now recognize that the impasse has a purpose. And after setting the thing to the wall or burying it far back in the stack of canvases, one bright day I stumble upon it as though it were a previously unknown creature and discover that I have a whole new relation to it and a brand new set of shiny ideas.
There’s a painting like that now, which I have pulled out of the pile. It’s time to resume work on it. And somewhere in this picture a bright tropical bird is almost ready to sing. Ah, all I need is to work my way through that thick forest.